“For the diabetic patient especially, spring is such an important time of year,” says Robyn Radford, Director of Goshen Wound Center. “The weather is getting nice, people are putting away the boots and pulling out the sandals, or even going barefoot. For a diabetic patient, wearing sandals or going barefoot can have terrible consequences. These patients don’t have good sensation in their feet and might not even know they have been injured. Without knowing there is an injury to address, a diabetic wound can quickly go from minor to limb threatening in just a matter of days.”
“Diabetic patients need to check their feet every day, looking especially for an obvious wound, but also watching out for cracking skin, red spots, cuts or blisters,” explains Radford. “If they can’t see the bottom of their feet they should get a mirror or have a loved one check their feet every day. If they find a wound that doesn’t heal, they need to get to the doctor right away.”
Some of the primary risk factors for wounds of the feet include:
- Neuropathy (numbness and pain from nerve damage)
- Deformity of the foot
- History of foot ulceration
- Absent or diminished pulses
- Prior amputation
Up to 70 percent of diabetic individuals experience diabetic neuropathy, and up to 25 percent of all diabetics will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime.
Goshen Wound Center offers the following foot care techniques to help diabetic patients keep their feet healthy this summer:
- Check your feet daily for red spots, cuts, swelling, blisters, sores or other injuries.
- Wash your feet every day and dry them with care, especially between the toes.
- Wash and dry your feet before trimming your toenails.
- Wear properly fitting shoes that do not rub or pinch your feet.
- Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes.
- Never walk barefoot or only wear socks.
- Physical activity can help increase circulation in your feet. Consult your healthcare team to see which physical activity is right for you.
- Take off your socks at your next check-up, and alert your doctor to any problems with your feet.
Remember, prevention and intervention are key. For more information about proper foot care, diabetic foot ulcers or how we may be able to help avoid amputation, contact Goshen Wound Center at (574) 364-4560. The wound center is located at 2006 South Main St., Ste. B, Goshen, IN 46526.
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